Marian Calendar

April 24

Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

In 1536, Spanish explorer Pedro de Mendoza found and named the port of Buenos Aires. His company included a Sardinian squire, two friars of the Order of Mercy, and an image of Santa María del Buen Ayre. Navigators had already claimed Our Lady of Good Air as patron, spreading her fame from her original Mercedarian shrine of Bonaria in Sardinia, off Italy, to Mendoza's homeland of Andalusia in southern Spain. Perhaps in recognition of her assistance to mariners, her title altered in Argentina and some other places to Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires, Our Lady of Good Winds.   

On April 24, 1870 -- during the 500th anniversary celebration of the mysterious arrival of Our Lady's statue to Sardinia by sea -- Msgr. Giovanni Lacovacci, Bishop of Eritrea, crowned the Madonna of Bonaria on the authority of Pope Pius IX. Ever since, devotees of Our Lady of Good Air have celebrated April 24 in her honor, in addition to the traditional dates of March 25, feast of the Annunciation, when the statue floated in to Cagliari, and August 15, feast of the Assumption. 

Our Lady of Buenos Aires holds the child with her left hand and a candle with her right. (Source: "Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires,"

Meanwhile, no church in Buenos Aires was dedicated to Our Lady of Good Air or Winds, although there were images of her in the Cathedral and other churches. With the backing of Sardinian immigrants, the church of Nuestra Señora de los Buenos Aires, begun in 1911, was inaugurated on December 3, 1932, almost 400 years after Mendoza gave her name to the Argentinian capital. By then April 24 had become the liturgical feast day of Our Lady of Good Winds, so it is the name day of Buenos Aires, though not its patronal feast day. (That honor goes to St. Martin, celebrated November 11.) On April 24 the Orden de Caballería (Knights) de Santa María de los Buenos Ayres holds a special mass and renewal of members' promises in the Buenos Aires Cathedral.

In 1968, the Lions Clubs of Cagliari and Buenos Aires donated a marble replica of the Madonna di Bonaria by Emilio del Fiandra to the city of Buenos Aires. It stands in Plaza Cerdeña (Sardinian Square) near the immigration office. 

Also commemorated this date:

bulletBeata Vergine della Salve, Alessandria, Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy. Statue sweated, 1489 & 1945. Festa 2nd Sun. after Easter.
bulletMadonna Addolorata, Rho, Milano, Lombardy, Italy. Painting wept blood, 1583.
bulletMadonna della Salette, Trambileno, Trento, Trento-Alto Adige, Italy. Sanctuary building began, 1856.
bulletSt Mary, Windhoek, Namibia. Catholic cathedral dedicated, 1932.
bulletNossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, Penamacor, Castelo Branco, Centro, Portugal. Annual pilgrimage.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly